We’re back with our weekly prospects review. Here’s all that’s going on with the Jackets’ assets this past week.
Starting off as usual in Springfield, the Falcons went 2-0 last week including one game that went to a shootout to clinch it. Friday night it was the Bridgeport Sound Tigers coming to town and the Falcons picked up a 3-2 win. Late in the second period, Jack Skille found Tim Erixon at the point. Tim’s shot was deflected by Blake Parlett for his first of the season. Two minutes later the Falcons would strike again when Frederic St. Denis fired a shot and Jack Skille would get the rebound – flipping a backhand in for his second of the season. Five minutes into the third period, Blake Parlett struck again. After some pretty passing by the Falcons power play, Blake snapped his shot over the goalie’s shoulder. The Sound Tigers scored two goals in a two minute span to make it 3-2. Jeremy Smith would make 21 saves in the win.
Continue reading November 11-17 CBJ Prospect Week in Review
Hello all, back again with a fairly North American based review as the six European prospects were off for International tournaments, despite all but two taking part and one missing due to injury.
Starting off in Springfield as usual where the Falcons went 1-1 last week, starting of with a 3-0 loss to Adirondack. Mike McKenna made 16 saves in the loss. Sunday the Falcons would face off against the Baby Penguins with Jeremy Smith getting the start. The Falcons would bounce back picking up a 4-3 win. Late in the first period, a Penguins player would send the puck out but Tim Erixon would fire a slapshot for his third of the season. Three minutes later after some pretty passing Alex Aleardi would find Frederic St. Denis who’d fire a blast with Spencer Machacek deflecting it (even if you don’t see it in the highlight). After a Penguins goal, Aleardi would give the Pens fits in the zone with a Pens dman trying to clear it out but St. Denis blasting a shot to make it 3-1. After a kerfuffle and another two Penguin goals to tie the game at three, Tim Erixon would keep the puck in and get it to Darryl Boyce who got a whack at it with Ryan Craig getting two whacks at it to score the game winner, with less than three minutes left. Jeremy Smith would make 19 saves in the win, his fifth of the season. Continue reading November 4-10 CBJ Prospects Week in Review
We’re back with a look at the week that was in Jackets’ prospects.
Starting off in Springfield as usual, the Falcons just kept rolling along going 2-0 in the week. This gives the team its best start ever at 5-0-0-0. Starting off on Friday against the Providence Bruins, the Falcons nabbed a quick two goal lead when Tim Erixon and Lukas Sedlak scored 46 seconds apart with Erixon also adding an assist on Sedlak’s goal. The Bruins would score in the second to make it 2-1 but in the third it would be almost all Falcons. Freshly signed to a PTO, Jacques-Francois Jacques made it 3-1 early in the third with Erixon picking up yet another assist. Midway through the period, Jack Skille would score his first with the team. Four minutes later the Bruins would score to make it 4-2, and Alex Aleardi would score an empty net goal to seal the deal. Jeremy Smith made 39 saves for the win and Tim Erixon would end the night with four points – his second four point night.
Saturday night it was off to Glen Falls, New York for a game with the Adirondack Phantoms. The Falcons would allow the Phantoms a 2-0 lead before Broc Little scored his first North American pro goal late in the second period. Midway through the third period, Will Weber would strike for his first of the season (this is not a typo) to tie the game. The game would go to a shootout taking six shooters with Sean Collins scoring in round four to tie the shootout and Cody Goloubef winning it in round six. Mike McKenna made 33 saves in regulation and overtime and stopped five of six in the shootout.
Continue reading October 14-20 CBJ Prospect Week in Review
As promised, another Monday, another look back at what the Blue Jackets’ prospects are doing around the world.
We’ll start by looking to the AHL affiliate in Springfield.
The Falcons got back to it on Saturday night facing off against the Worchester Sharks. The baby birds took an early lead when the freshly returned to Springfield Tim Erixon fired a shot that would be deflected by Lukas Sedlak for his first pro goal. Late in the first period, Jake Hansen made it 2-0 and then early in the second the Sharks would make it 2-1. Late in the second, on the power play, Frederic St. Denis and Austin Madaisky would work the puck around finding Jonathan Marchessault who snapped a shot past the Sharks goalie. The assist was Madaisky’s first AHL point. Just under two minutes later, Jake Hansen struck again but it’d be Andrew Joudrey who would do most of the work. Joudrey took a shot as a Sharks player batted the puck into the air and he then sent a cross crease pass to Hansen to make it 4-1. The Sharks would score two late but the Falcons would win it 4-3 with Jeremy Smith making 26 saves for his second win of the season. Erixon would lead the way with three assists he and Hansen were the only Falcons with multiple points.
Sunday, the Falcons welcomed the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to The Nest with the Falcons earning a 3-1 win. Darryl Boyce opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal from Trent Vogelhuber. Two minutes later, Michael Chaput scored his second of the season on the power play with Tim Erixon and Jonathan Marchessault earning assists. Late in the second period, Erixon would strike again by scoring to make it 3-0 Falcons with Jake Hansen and Dalton Smith earning assists. The Falcons would allow a late shorthanded goal to make it 3-1 but were able to seal the deal. Mike McKenna made 20 saves in his first start and win of the season. Continue reading October 7-13 CBJ Prospect Week in Review
Have no fear, we’re not about to start humming Nadia’s Theme here (if you don’t know what that is youngsters, Google it), but with the NHL’s first games in the books, Patrick Roy’s inaugural tirade dully documented, and Nationwide Arena gearing up for its own debut tonight, it’s time to get down to the business of hockey in earnest.
The young, of course, are the Blue Jackets players themselves, who once again will be in the running for the youngest team in the league. How young? Only five on the roster (McElhinney, Gaborik, Tyutin, MacKenzie and Umberger) have ages beginning with a “3″, and two (Murray, Jenner) entered their 20′s. Feel old yet? No? Let’s try this one — not a single Blue Jacket player was alive for the USA’s ‘Miracle on Ice’ at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. I’ll wait while you retrieve your hearing aids and shawls . . . More on this in a bit. Continue reading The Young & The Restless — Hockey Time in Columbus!
In the previous installment, we focused on the offensive zone — examining how much scoring would likely be needed, and where those goals might come from. We now turn our sights to the other side of center ice — between the trapezoid and the blue line. Seven players spend the majority of their ice time here, with their primary purpose to prevent the other side from finding the back of the net. If they do that well, the pressure on the scoring end goes down. Of course, if the scorers don’t uphold their side of the bargain, the pressure on the blue line and in goal increases as well. One of the key attributes for defensemen and goalies alike is just how well they can handle that pressure over the course of an 82-game season.
Goal differential is a key metric for determining success. After all, you need to score more than your opponent to win a game, so it should not be shocking that most teams that make the playoffs have positive goal differentials. It’s not universal — the Islanders made the playoffs last year with an even goal differential, and Washington made the playoffs the prior season with an eight-goal deficit. However, if the post-season is your goal, you’d better plan on a positive number for this statistic. Note that not a single club with a positive differential missed the playoffs in the 11-12 campaign, and only one squad had that fate last year. That’s right . . . the Columbus Blue Jackets. The club ended up with a positive goal differential (+1) for the first time in franchise history last year . . . and was edged out by Minnesota (differential minus -5 ) for the playoffs. Columbus was minus-4 in its 2008-09 playoff run, while the Wild missed the dance, despite having a differential of +19. So, the Minnesotans likely viewed last season as sweet revenge.
Continue reading Inquiring Minds: Defending the Home Front
Seriously folks. I know I seem to come across like the biggest Dalton Prout hater that ever lived, but I swear this has nothing to do with anything I’ve previously said on the man (or kid). I’ve usually had good things to say about Tim Erixon and Ryan Murray (and think Murray is legit), but those three guys have a much bigger hill to climb than you probably expect. Continue reading CBJ Fans, Prepare Yourself for a Different Defense Than You Expect
Last year I put together a series of posts centered around my expectations for the various Blue Jackets players goal totals, with one running before the season, one at midseason reviewing how I did and predicting the remainder of the season, and one after the year was over looking back at the first two pieces. I was pretty happy with how my method worked out, so I figured I’d do this for the entire league. You can find my preliminary post on it here, along with an update after the Capitals signed Grabovski. Here at the Union Blue, you’re going to get everything I’ve put together regarding the Jackets.
Unfortunately, I don’t think most of you will be happy with me. I have the Jackets finishing 15th in the NHL in goal differential. However, I also have the Metropolitan division as the league’s most difficult. If the season proceeds this way, the Jackets will finish 6th in the Metro, behind the Rangers, Devils, Penguins, Islanders, and Capitals. The Grabovski signing actually pushed the Caps above the Jackets for the final playoff spot in the East. Consolation prize: I also have the Red Wings missing the playoffs. So there’s that.
Continue reading 2013-14 Blue Jackets Goal Predictions
The signs are all there. The “back to school traffic jams” are in full flower, the pools are closed, and the hockey players are returning to Nationwide Boulevard, just as the swallows to San Juan Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley. The youngest among them will head north to Traverse City late this afternoon (where our own @CBJProspects is also headed), while training camp awaits in just a week’s time. Hockey is in the air, without the foul stench of a lockout, and its time to start taking a critical look at the key questions confronting the Blue Jackets as they wind down the final 30 days to the season opener, and the club’s Eastern Conference debut.
So, as the month-long countdown proceeds, I’ll be providing new installments of this Inquiring Minds series, focusing on specific questions that hold special significance for the organization as we eagerly anticipate the curtain rising on a new season. This first installment focuses on scoring — Who’s going to do it? How often does it need to happen? How likely is it to occur?
Continue reading Inquiring Minds: The Quest for Scoring
At the halfway point of the season I wrote about the second half expectations for the Blue Jackets. I looked at my preseason goal predictions for each player, then predicted how I thought they would perform over the second half of the season. Before I got to that point, I briefly discussed the team results. At the outset of the season, I had predicted a total of 128 goals scored on the season. I was off by a bit here, as they came in at only 120. However, I was off by the same amount in their goals against, as I had predicted they would come in at 127 goals allowed over the full 48 game season. Instead, they finished with 119 goals against. Excuse me for a second while I pat myself on the bat for exactly nailing their goal differential. In my preseason predictions, I hit another point that I think probably raised some eyebrows at the time: that the Jackets offense would actually improve with Rick Nash off in New York. And believe it or not it did (barely). The Jackets scored 120 goals this season, or the equivalent pace of 205 goals over 82 games. Not a great number, but better than the 202 goals the Jackets scored in 2011-12. Continue reading Looking Back to Look Back: Reviewing Preseason and Second Half Predictions